Major third party keyboard app developer SwiftKey has confirmed that it is already in the process of developing a keyboard app for iOS 8.
One of the most surprising and heartening details to emerge from Apple's WWDC event held last night (in UK time) was that it would allow app developers to produce third party keyboards for iPhone and iPad.
Up to now, it’s been one of many areas that Apple has jealously guarded for itself, and has been a sizeable stick for Android fans to beat the platform with. Google’s mobile platform is known for its range of alternative keyboard applications, with leading developers like SwiftKey and Swype producing advanced and highly regarded offerings for Android.
Now SwiftKey has confirmed that it will do the same for Apple devices. In a recent blog post on the SwiftKey website, it has been announced that "SwiftKey is coming to iOS 8."
"We’re delighted Apple has decided to embrace the importance of opening its platform to third party keyboards," said SwiftKey founders Ben Medlock and Jon Reynolds. "For more than four years, SwiftKey and our millions of users have pioneered faster, easier typing on touchscreens, leading the industry with next-word prediction and smarter autocorrection."
SwiftKey already released an app on iOS in January in the shape of SwiftKey Note, a free note-taking app that incorporated SwiftKey’s word prediction technology. As this is already up and running on the platform, it’s evidently a small matter to convert it to an optional keyboard for the entire iOS system.
"Are we going to build SwiftKey Keyboard for iOS 8? Of course we are. We’ve already started," concluded the co-founders.
Of course, with Apple itself finally set to improve its own keyboard with a smart word recommendation feature, there may well be less need to swap to an alternative anyway.
iOS 8 will launch this autumn, likely alongside the iPhone 6.
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